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Windows 8 not all to blame for PC slump

17 Apr 2013

Windows 8 is not the only reason why PC shipments are struggling, with a leading retail analyst accounting rival companies too.

Following an IDC report last week claiming PC sales are on the decline as buyers move away from Windows 8 PC software, NPD Group has rebuffed the claims in defence of Microsoft.

"It wasn't about Windows 8, it was much more about the price challenges facing OEMs," said Stephen Baker, analyst, NPD Group.

"People want cheap touch devices, and that's where Windows 8 devices can't compete right now."

But with shipments plummeting as low as 14% in the first three months of this year, Baker couldn't help but acknowledge the drop, yet refused to blame Windows 8 directly for the troubles.

"The market is flat, and no one is outperforming the others," he said.

IDC vice president disagreed however, reporting last week: “At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market."

So with both sides of the fence agreeing the market is flat and demand is low, where did it all go wrong for the beloved PC? Too expensive touch PC devices?

"The operative thing is that they don't all have to be in the $400 to $500 range," Baker said.

"They have to come down US$100 or $150."

As always, pricing seems key. Apple, Toshiba, Acer Group, Dell and HP all posted declines in shipments during the last quarter, yet Lenovo continued expanding a rate of knots within the industry.

Yet regardless of whether Windows 8 or pricing is the problem, PCs are on the way out. Question is, when will they be finished? Tell us your thoughts below